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Chhattisgarh disbands Home Minister’s special cop squad

Amid mounting criticism from within the party,the Chhattisgarh government on Saturday disbanded the special police squad

Written by Express News Service | Raipur |
December 5, 2010 4:05:25 am

Amid mounting criticism from within the party,the Chhattisgarh government on Saturday disbanded the special police squad — known as ‘HM squad’ as it reports directly to state Home Minister Nankiram Kanwar — after a series of controversies involving its men.

“I have ordered disbanding of the special police squad,abiding by the directive of Chief Minister Raman Singh. It’s the Chief Minister’s wish and I follow it,” said Kanwar after his return from New Delhi.

“This squad was constituted to contain the menace of sale of illicit liquor and gambling. In the event of any complaints,the police will continue to take stern action at the district level,” he added.

Official sources said a special police squad which was entrusted with the task of proactively tackling bootlegging and gambling and another squad which used to check overloading of trucks and other vehicles have now been disbanded.

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The CM had sent a note to Kanwar suggesting that the squad be disbanded,following a series of complaints that its men had allegedly beaten up people and were indulging in “extortion”.

The decision to wind up the controversial “HM squad” came two days before the commencement of the winter session of the State Assembly. The Opposition Congress had already announced that it would stall the proceedings of the House,raising issues of “deteriorating law and order” and the controversies surrounding the special police squad.

A section of ruling BJP legislators too had demanded that the squad be disbanded,pointing out that it did not have any legal sanctity as it had been placed under the direct supervision of the Home Minister. Besides writing letters to the CM and the Home Minister,senior BJP legislator Devji Bhai Patel had stated that he would raise the issue at the BJP legislature party meeting as the activities of the squad had tarnished the image of both the government and the party.

Congress general secretary and chief spokesman Ramesh Varliyani said they had already submitted a memorandum to Governor Shekhar Dutt,demanding Kanwar’s removal. “The law and order situation in the cities and towns is deteriorating and there has been a spurt in crimes like abduction,murder and loot while the special police squad was busy in harassing the general public,chasing cases of bootlegging and gambling,” he said.

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